Defining the diagnostic divide : an analysis of registered radiological equipment resources in a low-income African country
CITATION: Ngoya, P. S., Muhogora, W. E. & Pitcher, R. D. 2016. Defining the diagnostic divide : an analysis of registered radiological equipment resources in a low-income African country. The Pan African Medical Journal, 25:99, doi:10.11604/pamj.2016.25.99.9736.
The original publication is available at http://www.panafrican-med-journal.com
ENGLISH SUMMARY : Introduction: Diagnostic radiology is recog nised as a key component of modern healthcare. However there is marked inequality in global access to imaging. Rural populations of low - and middle - income countries (LMICs) have the greatest need. Carefully coordinated healthcare planning is required to me et the ever increasing global demand for imaging and to ensure equitable access to services. However, meaningful planning req uires robust data. Currently, there are no comprehensive published data on radiological equipment resources in low - income countries . The aim of this study was to conduct the first detailed analysis of registered diagnostic radiology equipment resources in a low - income African country and compare findings with recently published South African data. Methods: The study was conducted in T anzania in September 2014, in collaboration with the Tanzanian Atomic Energy Commission (TAEC), which maintains a comprehensive database of the country’s registered diag nostic imaging equipment. All TAEC equipment data were quantified as units per million people by imaging modality, geographical zone and healthcare sector. Results: There are 5.7 general radiography units per million people in the public sector with a relatively homogeneous geographical di stribution. When compared with the South African publ ic sector, Tanzanian resources are 3 - , 21 - and 6 - times lower in general radiography, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, respectively. Conclusion: The homogeneous Tanzanian distribution of basic public - sector radiological services reflects central government’s commitment to equitable distribution of essential resources. However, the 5.7 general radiography units per million people is lower than the 20 units per million people recommended by the World Health Organizati on